by Scott Donald Architecture
Award RIBA West Midlands Awards 2022
Uniquely for Winter House there was no design brief in terms of style or area, and instead, the client issued the architect his impressive art schedule. While it’s apparent that art is the central focus of the plan, through a meticulous attention to detail, uninhabited connection between inside and out - what has been delivered is a beautifully crafted home.
The site is semi-rural and bound by impressive, protected trees and enclosed with perimeter walls clad in the previous houses’ brickwork. Externally, the building is dark, repressive within the wild setting, with the street frontage being primarily solid and private. The masculine material palette serves to minimise the impact of the building behind the protected greenery - a request by the conservation officer. However, to the private garden side, the building is wrapped with expanses of angled glazing - an extroverted aesthetic allows the building to connect with its architectural gardens at every turn.
While the two intersecting volumes appear simple in appearance, beneath is an intricate and complicated skeleton. A crucifix form transfer, enables the two volumes to become completely column free, with the trusses’ columns embedded and concealed within partitions. The result is an almost invisible threshold between inside and out, unencumbered by any visible frame or columns.
Internally, the dark tones of the exterior are exchanged for bright, light-filled spaces which use natural materials to bring warmth and depth, with the artwork carefully showcased on how it will be lit and viewed. What can only be described as a meticulous attention to detail played out throughout; shadow gaps define a split between surfaces, screed isolations joints were thoughtfully considered to coordinate with the soft furniture. The power sockets are distributed within the floor build up and discretely integrated within the screed, with lighting controlled digitally, removing the need for light switches throughout.
With Winter House there is no compromise. As a result, the architect has created a series of coordinated, considered spaces, where landscape and build form blend seamlessly.
Net internal area 497.00 m²
Contractor Redbrook Construction
Structural Engineers Edge Consulting Engineers
Environmental / M&E Engineers Redby